Cell phone companies get the lowest ratings of any service evaluated by Consumer Reports magazine.
None of the major companies received an overall satisfaction rating above 72 percent – even lower than from the previous survey. Three smaller companies had the highest satisfaction scores – Consumer Cellular, Credo Mobile and U.S. Cellular, which led the way with an approval rating of 88 percent.
Of the four major cell phone companies, 63,000 readers of Consumer Reports found Verizon to be the top carrier. While more expensive in some areas, Verizon was found to be “consistently better than the average wireless carrier and much better than most of its competitors.” Sprint came in second followed by T-Mobile. AT&T brought up the rear.
Where the phone user lives also impacts satisfaction. For instance, in St. Louis, Sprint is tied with Verizon but comes in last place in Chicago.
The study also found that smartphone customers were considerably happier with 4G than 3G, and that 4G AT&T customers had the least problems.
As for prepaid carriers, TracFone rated the highest, and Straight Talk and Virgin Mobile stood out as budget smartphones.